Gentiva launches program to aid heart, lung patients
Gentiva Home Health, formerly Midsouth, a part of the Gentiva Health Services family of companies, today announced that it has introduced a specialized program here for heart and lung patients, allowing Franklin County-area residents to receive the same advanced home health treatments and education that have allowed thousands of other Americans in similar circumstances to take charge of their illnesses, live more independently, avoid hospital and emergency room visits and assure they take their medications properly.
The Gentiva Cardiopulmonary program serves primarily Medicare-eligible patients and has demonstrated its ability to deliver significant improvements in their functionality and other outcomes, and keep many patients from needing hospitalization up to a full year after leaving the program.
“We believe that many people in the Franklin County area are not yet fully aware of these highly effective disease management programs, which can allow them to remain at home among family and friends, and avoid hospitalization,” said Program Director Michelle Swinney, RN, BSN who has been a registered nurse for 13 years, with a background in cardiac and critical care.
“We also know that medical professionals are now beginning to realize the positive impact such programs can have on patients’ lives, while reducing the burden on local hospitals and emergency rooms, and controlling costs at a time of soaring national health expenditures for our growing older population.”
Gentiva Cardiopulmonary focuses on preventing the progression of heart- and lung-related ailments, assists patients and their doctors in managing the diseases, and controls expenditures by limiting or eliminating the need for more costly institutional care. The program – driven by the demands of an aging and chronically ill population – works with patients who have any cardiac or pulmonary diagnosis, including congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive lung disease, cardiac bypass surgery, heart attack, hypertension and pneumonia.
Specially trained homecare teams provide patients with early detection and intervention; thorough evaluation of current medications for possible interactions and side effects; lifestyle adaptation, including a wellness journal to chart day-to-day progress; identification of environmental triggers; a walking program to build strength and mobility; and daily in-home health monitoring by nursing professionals and telemedicine devices.
Heart and lung diseases, two of America’s most common health problems, are said to affect over 100 million people.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has estimated that five million Americans have heart failure, with about 550,000 new cases diagnosed each year and hospitalizations on the rise. A National Institutes of Health-funded study has found that elderly heart patients have a better quality of life and fewer hospital readmissions when they receive specialized nursing care through their hospital stay and at home following hospital discharge. The NIH study also reported a 38 percent reduction in Medicare costs.
Congestive heart failure currently accounts for more than 40 percent of Medicare’s $400-billion-plus annual expenditures.
Patients, physicians and other patient referral sources who are interested in learning more about Gentiva Cardiopulmonary may call Gentiva Home Health, 256-332-3375.